I have done all sorts of things with tough writing times; experienced them, tweeted about them, written blog posts about them, moaned about them, cried about them, had sleepless nights about them, written lengthy emails to writing friends about them and filled out hundreds of diary pages.
Recently I have seen tough writing times differently. They are not so bad. Once you remove the emotion from challenging writing situations; literary rejection, a shelved draft novel, negative feedback which breaks your heart, a writing competition you didn’t win, a blog post which don’t set the online world on fire, an inability to write anything for weeks, and a beloved main character who beta readers dislike – you will start to see that good things soon start to sprout and grow.
Here are the good things which have grown out of my tough writing times:
Friendship. Some of my best creative friendships have started with a supportive blog comment or an encouraging tweet post during a bleak writing time. The online writing community will always give you a reassuring and warm virtual hug via social media if you reach out and share your suffering.
New Characters. I have created some great new characters, whilst shelving old stories. For me my main characters start as minor ones in old stories and catch my eye. After some revamping I find myself with some cool new characters.
New Direction. Sometimes difficult writing situations have pointed me in a new and interesting direction. I love this because my ‘I know best’ writing mindset would have prevented me from pursuing new directions.
Knowledge. I have acquired new knowledge about writing during the hard times. The universe knows I struggle to read writing craft books and take the advice of others, so it makes me learn new stuff through failure. Sigh The universe is so thoughtful…
New Stories. Whilst sifting through the wreckage of shelved stories I have discovered new story ideas, buried deep. Never delete or throw anything away when it comes to writing.
Humour. The best way to get over writing failure is to find some funny aspect about the situation and laugh it out with writer friends. I think laughing helps the creative healing process.
Perseverance. I have learnt that you can’t buy this on Amazon. It’s something you have to cultivate yourself. Finding your way through a challenging writing time is one way of growing your own batch of this stuff.
Patience. A writing journey cannot be rushed. Books need time to stew inside your head, in notebooks and on your laptop screen. Writing failures have taught me to slow down and think stuff through.
The chance to do something again. We are so lucky as we get the chance to rewrite, modify and adjust our stories. Can you imagine if we were only allowed one attempt?
I was also going to add – Tough writing times give you a damn good reason to buy yourself a huge slice of cake and devour it in seconds.
If you are going through a tough writing time right now, look for the green shoots of good things. They will be poking through the creative soil. I promise you.
What good things have grown out of your tough writing times?
Have a great day writers!